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How to treat unionized employees during upcoming holidays

November 18, 2010

Most area dealers indicated in a poll earlier this year that they would mark the Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve holidays with Saturday closings on Dec. 23 and 30, respectively. That jibes with the collective bargaining agreement for Teamsters Local 731 unionized employees.


But in a quirk of sorts, the contract with Auto Mechanics Local 701 observes those holidays on other days: Friday, Dec. 22 and Friday, Dec. 29. 

The contract with the 731 union treats the coming holiday schedule as follows:


Teamsters Local 731

Thanksgiving Thursday: Nov. 23

Day Before Christmas: Friday, Dec. 22 or Saturday, Dec. 23 (see below)

Christmas Day: Monday, Dec. 25

Day Before New Year’s: Friday, Dec. 29 or Saturday, Dec. 30 (see below)

New Year’s Day: Monday, Jan. 1 

According to the 731 contract, when Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve fall on a Sunday, the holidays shall be treated as a Saturday holiday. However, when any holiday in the contract falls on a Saturday, a dealer can specify by Wednesday preceding the holiday whether Friday shall be the regular workday or regarded as a paid holiday.


If the dealership designates Friday as the holiday, the employee will receive the day off with pay. If the dealership designates Saturday as the holiday and requires employees to work on these Fridays, the employee will receive an extra day’s pay (i.e., six days’ pay for five days’ work). 

Payment: Holiday pay equals the number of straight-time hours the employee ordinarily works on a regular day times the employee’s hourly rate. For most employees, this will equate to 8 times the employee’s regular hourly rate. When an employee works on a designated holiday, the employee receives time-and-one-half in addition to holiday pay.


Eligibility: Holiday pay is required only for employees who have passed their probationary period by working at least thirty (30) working days. Also, in order to qualify for holiday pay, an employee must work his scheduled workday immediately before and after the holiday. 

Auto Mechanics’ Local 701

Thanksgiving: Thursday, Nov. 23

Day Before Christmas: Friday, Dec. 22

Christmas Day: Monday, Dec. 25

Day Before New Year’s: Friday, Dec. 29

New Year’s Day: Monday, Jan. 1 

Employees may not be required to work on a designated holiday. Where an employee volunteers to work a holiday, and the dealership agrees to allow the employee to work, the employees receives two times (2x) the employee’s applicable rate of pay for hours worked (hours booked for incentive technicians) in addition to the holiday pay. Alternatively, the dealership and its employees may agree to substitute another day(s) in lieu of working on what the 701 contract recognizes as the Day before Christmas and/or the Day before New Year’s. In such instances, the holiday overtime premium need not be paid to employees who work on the Day before Christmas or the Day before New Year’s.


Tuesday to Saturday Employees: The contract explicitly designates Friday Dec. 22, Monday Dec. 25, Friday, Dec. 29, and Monday, Jan. 1 as the designated holidays. As a result, employees working a Tuesday-to-Saturday workweek receive a Friday off with pay on both Dec. 22 and Dec. 29, and then report to work as usual the following Saturdays (Dec. 23 and Dec. 30) because these days are not designated holidays under the contract. With respect to the Monday holidays (Dec. 25 and Jan. 1), Tuesday-to-Saturday employees receive an additional day’s pay for these holidays (i.e., 6 days’ pay for 5 days’ work).  

Auto Mechanics’ Local 701 has advised that it will agree to an alternative holiday schedule for Tuesday-to-Saturday employees on an individual dealer basis. Under this alternative plan, Tuesday-to-Saturday employees would work their normal schedule on the designated Friday holidays (Dec. 22 and Dec. 29), but the dealership would not be required to pay the holiday premium pay for those days. The employees would then be given Saturday off as the recognized holiday. With regard to the Monday holidays (Dec. 25 and Jan. 1), the dealership may either: 1) provide 6 days’ pay for 5 days’ work (i.e., require the employee to work the following Tuesday); or 2) allow the employee to take Tuesday off with pay as the recognized holiday.


Dealers who are interested in an alternative holiday schedule must discuss it and reach agreement with their Union representative in advance of the holidays.